Title: The Royal Secret
Author: Lucinda Riley
Genre: Historical Fiction / Mystery
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication Date: May 21, 2019
Rating: 4.5 / 5 Stars
Source: Digital ARC provided by publisher
This book was so compulsively readable that I did not want to put it down from the moment I started reading it. So make sure you carve out some time for this one because though addictive, it’s also longer than I expected at around 530 pages for the hardcover.
The story begins when Joanna, a young journalist trying to make her start, is assigned to cover the funeral of a well known and respected actor. While she is attending the funeral, she is seated next to an elderly woman whose health is declining and ends up needing help to leave the funeral early and go home. Joanna accompanies her and ends up stumbling upon a story that is much bigger than she ever imagined.
We get multiple perspectives throughout the book. From Joanna to her best friend Simon, to the grandchildren and heirs of the deceased actor, Marcus and Zoe. The further you read, the bigger the mystery becomes and the higher the stakes. This book truly kept me guessing the entire time. I found myself trying to piece together the mystery and while I usually have a pretty good handle on how things will play out in a typical thriller, The Royal Secret continued to throw in twists that had me reading until the very end.
Thank you SO MUCH to Atria books for the opportunity to read and review this book!
“Oh and by the way, not wishing to be overdramatic, but I should warn you, the stakes are high. Any leaks down the wrong drain and you could find yourself next to it in the gutter.”
-Lucinda Riley, The Royal Secret
*Please note, this quote is from an ARC copy, so it may change in the final copy.
Synopsis: Keeping secrets is a dangerous game.
When Sir James Harrison, one the greatest actors of his generation, passes away at the age of ninety-five, he leaves behind not just a heartbroken family but also a secret so shocking, it could rock the English establishment to its core.
Joanna Haslam, an up-and-coming reporter, is assigned to cover the legendary actor’s funeral, attended by glitzy celebrities of every background. But Joanna stumbles on something dark beneath the glamour: the mention of a letter James Harrison has left behind—the contents of which many have been desperate to keep concealed for over seventy years. As she peels back the veil of lies that has shrouded the secret, she realizes that she’s close to uncovering something deadly serious—and the royal family may be implicated. Before long, someone is on her tracks, attempting to prevent her from discovering the truth. And they’ll stop at nothing to reach the letter before she does.
Lucinda Riley is the New York Times bestselling author of The Orchid House, The Girl on the Cliff, The Lavender Garden, The Midnight Rose, and the Seven Sisters series. Her books have sold more than fifteen million copies in thirty-five languages globally. She was born in Ireland and divides her time between England and West Cork with her husband and four children.
Photo credit: Boris Breuer
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